Following a tense legal battle over the last year, Marco Senghor, the longtime owner of the Mission's popular Bissap Baobab and Little Baobab, has been sentenced to a year's probation, $1,000 fine, and 100 hours of community service for making false claims on a citizenship application.
As Mission Local reports, Senghor was "misty-eyed" outside the courtroom Thursday, surrounded by family. Senghor had potentially faced ten years in jail and the revocation of his citizenship — and the legal fight led him to sell the building that housed Bissap Baobab earlier this year, after purchasing it only a year prior.
Senghor's troubles stem from a federal investigation that began last year, and which honed in on a sham marriage that Senghor had used as a path to citizenship in the early 2000s. Senghor came to the US in 1989, at the age of 24, after being born in Senegal and living in France. The marriage, his attorneys say, was the result of a bad deal struck with "shady" individuals based in Los Angeles whom he paid to find him a bride.
Under the Trump administration, the feds were seen as going pretty heavy-handed in their prosecution of Senghor, as Mission Local notes, with two initial felony charges that would have stropped away his citizenship, and they were seeking total asset forfeiture as well.
Now Senghor gets to walk away with his citizenship and assets intact, with a slight slap on the wrist. The judge in the case appeared to respond positively to the many letters of support that were submitted on Senghor's behalf, after being a part of the Mission community for over 20 years.